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HER Number:MDV115806
Name:Natural Cairn used as a Modern Military Training Site on Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor Forest


Natural cairn on Hangingstone Hill used as a modern temporary military defensive position


Grid Reference:SX 619 861
Map Sheet:SX68NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • NATURAL FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (XX - 1950 AD to 2000 AD)

Full description

Newman , P., 2015, Hangingstone Hill Round Cairn Condition Survey (Report - Survey). SDV359950.

A small, oval mound of earth and stone, on the eastern slope of Hangingstone Hill, is clearly an artificial feature and has potential as either a cairn or evidence of military activity. It is too small and sloping to have been a charcoal meiler but its use as a peat drying platform should not be ruled out, though again it is rather small.
The mound is constructed on ground that slopes a little to the east and is 7 metres long by up to 5.5 metres wide with a well-defined perimeter. The summit is slightly to the west of centre, where the height of the mound is 0.38 metres. An apparently in-situ upright stone, near the centre of the summit, adds an extra 0.3 metres to the overall height.
Although the mound is evenly covered by turf, stone is visible in places and it is assumed that the fabric beneath this covering is mostly stone (only larger exposed pieces surveyed). On the south-western arc of the perimeter a granite slab with a triangular profile is upright (though leaning) but does not appear to be the remnant of a curb. Another slab now leans away from the cairn.
The mound appears not to have suffered any disturbance in recent times.

Newman , P., 2015, Hangingstone Hill Round Cairn SX 61707 86129 (Plan - measured). SDV359951.

Survey of the feature; described in Phil Newman's report.

Monteith, J., 2016, Geophysical survey of land at Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor, ii (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV359723.

Concentrations of stones visible at the surface has indicated the possible presence of a cairn at this location. A 40 metre square area has surveyed and a central area of high resistance was identified, measuring approximately 4.5 metres by 8 metres. Similar areas of high resistance have also been identified towards the south-west and east, along a linear trend orientated south-west by north-east.

Bray, L. + Taylor, S.R., 2017, Hangingstone Hill: Archaeological Excavation Archive Report (Report - Excavation). SDV360292.

Excavation of this feature in 2017 revealed it to be a natural peat mound upon which stones had recently been placed. A large amount of spent ammunition in the area may lead one to assume that it may be a temporary defensive structure constructed during a military exercise.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV359723Report - Geophysical Survey: Monteith, J.. 2016. Geophysical survey of land at Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor. Bournemouth University Report. 0168. A4 Comb Bound. ii. [Mapped feature: #3344 ]
SDV359950Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2015. Hangingstone Hill Round Cairn Condition Survey. South-West Landscape Investigations. Digital.
SDV359951Plan - measured: Newman , P.. 2015. Hangingstone Hill Round Cairn SX 61707 86129. 1:200. Digital.
SDV360292Report - Excavation: Bray, L. + Taylor, S.R.. 2017. Hangingstone Hill: Archaeological Excavation Archive Report. Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2017R043. A4 Spiral Bound + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV115805Related to: Orthostat within Natural Cairn on Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV4377Related to: Round cairn on Hangingstone Hill (Monument)
MDV52440Related to: Trackway from South Zeal to Hangingstone Hill, South Tawton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7038 - Geophysical Survey of land at Hangingstone Hill (Ref: 0168)
  • EDV7320 - Hangingstone Hill: Archaeological Excavation Archive Report (Ref: 2107R043)

Date Last Edited:Aug 4 2017 11:40AM